Dance Alive National Ballet
For Carla Amancio, dancing isn't just a hobby... it's a way of life.
She's a professional dancer for the Dance Alive National Ballet. She moved all the way from Brazil to Gainesville just to join this company.
But for Amancio and the other professional dancers, their jobs are being threatened because of a loss of financial contributions. And as a result, they are being laid off for the first time in the 42-year history of the company, in an effort to save money.
"I have trained for 20 years to be a dancer. This is my life. Just like someone trains to be a doctor," Amancio said.
Dancers will be laid off beginning in January, which is a slow month anyway. Directors say the lay-offs are only temporary, and dancers should be back at work by February.
But they say the problem is that contributions need to continue to put the dancers back on stage. They say the troubled economy is the reason many individual contributors aren't able to give as much... or even at all.
"It's really bad. The economy is bad. And we don't bring in the money that gator football does," Colleen Rant, a financial contributor, said.
"The economy has dropped contributions. Our corporate and personal contributions are down by about 50 percent," Kim Tuttle, Artistic Director, said.
Kim Tuttle says other local arts programs are also feeling the pinch.... such as the orchestra and the Hippodrome Theater.
But for now, the show must go on at Dance Alive. And directors say it will. The Nutcracker and Danscape will be presented as scheduled.
But Amancio says she's worried about her future as a dancer... and her future here in Gainesville... if money continues to dry up.
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